The Dauphin County Commissioners will begin discussing legislation Wednesday to become the first municipality in the state to create a land bank authority to clean up vacant and blighted properties.
A land bank allows a government agency — in this case as part of the Dauphin County Redevelopment Authority – to acquire properties that are abandoned, run down and whose owners are delinquent on property tax payments. The land bank could then rehabilitate the property and resell it or demolish the building for some kind of green space.
Land banks have been used to revitalize communities in Michigan, the Cleveland area and around Atlanta, among other places. In year, Gov. Tom Corbett signed the Land Bank Act, hoping that municipalities here would have similar success. City councils in Reading and Philadelphia have discussed creating land banks, as have several counties, but so far none have.
The county commissioners will discuss the measure at their weekly 10 a.m. meeting, and are expected to hold a vote next week.